This page contains Doc’s basic life story, rapidly told. Additional chapters will be added.

This is my story, and I am sticking to it, even if it follows advice from my father: “Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story.” This information was written when I was 79 years old. Other parts of the story, experiences, and lessons were written when I was younger and, hopefully, not fettered with poor memory about how things happened. Some of the previously written information is incorporated herein.

I was born on August 1, 1944, at about 3:38 am at Hill Air Force Base near Boise, ID. I am the oldest of seven children, having three sisters and three brothers.

At about ten days of age, my parents were told there was a problem with my heart. They were told I would likely die from an enlarged heart by the time I was ten or twelve years old. How depressing would that information be to parents? There is a rule about children not dying before their parents.

The problem with my heart was that there was a hole in the septum (the wall) between the two ventricular chambers in my heart. That meant that part of the oxygen-poor blood coming back to the heart from my body would go through the hole and not pass through the lungs to pick up oxygen. I was a “blue baby.”

Regardless of my medical situation, life goes on. No one has ever figured out how to stop the passage of time. Life always goes on, and liking it is not the issue. The issue is dealing with life, whatever it offers.

My experiences as a young child are described later with additions to this basic story. Indeed, many specific experiences I have had throughout life are additions to this basic story, additions I label as ‘chapters.’

I was a typical kid growing up. (My father did not like calling children ‘kids’ because ‘kids’ were baby goats.) So, growing up as a ‘baby goat,’ 😊, I experienced the everyday kid things. I learned to ride a bicycle, got bullied, went to numerous doctor appointments, ran away from home (for about five minutes until it started to rain), dropped onto my head on a concrete floor, had my first (and only) puff on a cigarette, and got kicked out of preschool, among other opportunities.

Then came grammar school or, as it is now called, elementary school. I walked a mile to school daily (no one worried about being kidnapped). Due to my heart issues, I was not able to be an athlete. I experienced much during grammar school, including getting robbed on Halloween night of all my Trick or Treat candy, playing sandlot football after school until I had a spitting headache (oxygen deprivation in my brain), founding the Black Widow Gang with my brother and policing the neighborhood on our bicycles, being teased because of starting the wear glasses, being bullied because I was a wimp, having to pull weeds in my father’s garden (the family garden), raising rabbits and butchering them for a local store, learned how to get worms out of the ground for fishing using electricity, how to play the piano, and so it went.

Now, I am in high school. We moved halfway through my freshman year in high school to a new area. The US Air Force transferred my father from one base to another. High school was great fun. I learned many things, like how to be mouthy and not get hit, how to lead the Stars Spangled Banner when it played over the classroom speaker in typing class with the paper roller removed from the typewriter, how to get kicked out of business law class by flying paper airplanes around the room, how our football team could not win a game because they were all a bunch of drunks, how the PE room had group showers, not individual stalls, and how to avoid class by busting a led pencil in the schoolroom door lock.

I also learned good things in high school, like how to drive a car, how to speak Spanish a little, how to milk a cow by hand, how to shoot crows with my .22 rifle, why I wanted to go to college so I did not have to weed my father’s garden, and how to be a good Boy Scout. I had two best friends in high school. One was a black guy, and one was a white guy. My high school counselor, also the basketball coach, told me not to go to college because “you won’t make it,” he said. He did not think I was college material.

College was next, but could I get into college with my C+ average from high school? I am not dumb, but I showed some dereliction of my grades. I could count on my fingers and toes the hours I spent doing homework in high school. If you think about it, my C+ had more to do with raw intelligence than hours of homework. But I did get in, with the proviso that I took a bone-head math class.

I began college wanting to study accounting because I had heard in high school that accountants made $25,000 a year while the average salary was around $15,000. Back in the day, 25,000 was good money. I wanted the big bucks, but after flunking my first accounting class, I decided I no longer wanted to be a bean counter.

I moved on to psychology and found my home. Although my first class in psychology was so boring I had to sit in the front row (usually, I am a back-row joe guy) to keep from falling asleep. I spent two years at college and then two years and three months on a mission for my church. Then, I had three more college years (I had to work and put myself through) and obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree. A BS degree was fitting since this is some BS in psychology. I enjoyed college.

Now what? With a bachelor’s degree in psychology, employment prospects were likely being a clerk at a store. Clerking was not for me—more college for a master’s degree.

I spent two years studying to be a school psychologist. I obtained a Master of Arts degree. The trouble was I found out that to be a school psychologist, I first needed to get a teaching credential and teach school for a few years before I could get a job as a school psychologist. Nope. That was not the career path I wanted.

I needed more college to get a Ph.D., which required another three years. Finally, I was able to get a job as a licensed psychologist.

Occasionally, I considered visiting my high school counselor, who told me not to go to college because I would not make it, but I did not return for a visit.

However, there was a lesson here. Do not let others tell you how to run your life. Do what you want to do. Make the effort, and you will succeed. It may take longer, like it took me longer than the average student, but I succeeded.

Next, I was off to the Mohave Mental Health Clinic in Kingman, AZ, where I spent my first three and a half years as a professional psychologist. In those days, Arizona had a certification law.

After obtaining my California license as a psychologist, I began to work in Gridley, CA, and Marysville, CA. After 43 years of psychotherapy and forensic work, I retired.  

Currently, I use my experience as a psychologist to write novels. It is great fun, but not much money. Aah. Who needs money?